Greater regulation of adventure tourism urged in New Zealand

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The father of a 21-year-old British girl who drowned while riverboarding in New Zealand will continue his fight for greater regulation of the country’s adventure tourism sector, despite new rules announced this week.

Chris Jordan’s daughter, Emily, was killed in 2008 while riding on a body board in the Kawarau River Gorge near Queenstown.

Mr Jordan has since led an effort to address the lack of regulation of companies that run adventure tourism in New Zealand.

“After she died, I looked into the management of these outfits and was appalled,” he said. “There was no training, no organisation, no safety checks, and the company just continued operating as before.”

His concerns prompted John Key, the Prime Minister, to launch a review, which this week recommended introducing a compulsory register of adventure tourism companies and a “voluntary safety auditing scheme”.

The New Zealand government is also considering whether instructors should require a special qualification.

Mr Jordan welcomed the changes, but said more needs to be done.

“A voluntary check is not good enough,” said Mr Jordan. “Nor has anything been done with regard to punishing companies that don’t come up to standard.”

The review revealed that 39 people died in adventure tourism accidents in New Zealand between 2004 and 2009.